How to train a junior colleague in the basics of PCR

PCR can be a tricky technique to master as it requires a lot of concentration and accuracy. It can be very easy for someone new to the technique to get overwhelmed and make mistakes. […]

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My Fifteen Favorite Things To Do In The Lab

What is my most favorite task to do in the lab? Good question; it’s difficult to pick just one, so here are (quite) a few of my favorite things: 1. Working in a team […]

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Catching Waves: What a Microscopist Ought to Know About Phase Contrast

Phase contrast microscopy is a light microscopy technique which is primarily used to visualise live cells. Using various filters and condensers, the image produced by phase contrast allows us to see greater detail in […]

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A Primer for Designing Degenerate Primers

For those of us who work with Mus musculus or Homo sapiens, to name a couple of species, a few clicks on UCSC Genome Bioinformatics Site or Ensembl gets you the full and precise […]

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Tower of Babel: Next Generation Sequencing Provides New Insights on Chromosome Construction

Biologists have long appreciated the complexity of genome organization, but until recently lacked the tools to discern the intricacies of this puzzle. Now, thanks to some handy cross-linking, careful amplification, and (of course!) next […]

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How to Deal With a Failed Experiment

Scientific success is often defined by how well your experiments progress and the results you produce. However, scientific research is driven by a curiosity about the unknown, and you cannot always be prepared for […]

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Toluidine Blue – A Histology Stain for Mast Cells (and Other Things!)

What is Toluidine Blue? Toluidine blue (TB) is a polychromatic dye which can absorb different colours depending on how it binds chemically with various tissue components. It first emerged in 1856, courtesy of a […]

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What is PCR? – The beginner's guide

PCR is THE technique of modern molecular biology labs. If you need to copy, sequence or quantify DNA , you need to know PCR. In short, PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is a biochemical technique that […]

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Beneath the Lab Coat Part 2: What is lurking under our readers’ lab coats?

Recently, we wrote an article highlighting the prevalence of science-themed tattoos among scientists, and the particular significance these tattoos have among those who choose to get them (http://bitesizebio.com/articles/beneath-the-lab-coat-why-do-scientists-get-inked/). As a follow-up, we reached out […]

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What Makes a “Good” Laboratory Buffer?

Just about any molecular biology experiment will involve the action of enzymes or other active proteins. And when enzymes are involved, the pH of your experimental environment is going to change. This is because […]

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